Heartworks Shelburne Preschool and the Lodge at Shelburne Bay Senior Living Community in Shelburne are working together to create a “Grand Friend Program.”
Throughout the year, the residents of the Lodge will have an opportunity to visit Heartworks and participate in special activities. The Heartworks teachers and students will also visit the Lodge to share in afternoon snack, create art projects, and visit with the residents of the home.
According to Libby Macdonald, director of the Shelburne Heartworks Preschool, “There are tremendous benefits to this kind of inter-generational program. From the student perspective, it’s an opportunity to develop new relationships, learn more about how they can contribute to our community, and to enhance their social skills. It’s such a great thing to see them open up and engage with their new grand friends.”
Heartworks hosted the first “Grand Friend” event on Thursday, Oct. 31, during the annual Halloween parade. The grand friends arrived before the parade so as to have time to tour the school. They visited each classroom and thus had a sneak preview of all the wonderful costumes. As the children paraded around the courtyard, the grand friends and parents joined in the singing. At the conclusion of the parade, the attendees gathered in the school’s “Big Room” to enjoy “The Big Pumpkin” play, performed by the teachers. The morning concluded with more Halloween songs.
Cherrie Willette, resident services director at the Lodge, said, “We’re so thrilled to partner with Heartworks on this Grand Friend Program. Our residents enjoy the time with the students, and it provides them with a strong sense of their value in the community, which is so critically important.”
The students and their new grand friends look forward to their next visit in December.